Aliza Licht, evp of brand marketing and communications at Alice + Olivia, joined Glossy+ members for a Slack Chat on June 21 to discuss how brands can embrace authenticity, whether they should take political stances and what she learned building the @DKNYPRGirl Twitter handle to 1.5 million followers while working as svp of communications at Donna Karan.

The full conversation is available exclusively to Glossy+ members, but lightly edited excerpts appear below. Click here to join Glossy+.

On what made @DKNYPRGirl feel authentic:
“When I started, I had no clue what I was doing, so I would pay attention to what resonated. The more ‘real’ I was, the more engagement I got. I learned as I went. The platform was a way to humanize the DKNY brand beyond the clothes, giving readers a fly-on-the-wall experience of what it might be like to have my job in PR. I think it worked because, while my job was very aspirational, I was very accessible, and I engaged with everyone. A lot of brands just push content, and I do not believe that is a good strategy.”

On what she learned from DKNY:
“Engagement is the [No. 1] thing you should do and measure. Even back all those years, I did not care about the follower count; I cared about the interactions. That’s why I posted so many times a day and interacted. Taking [Instagram] as the most important platform now, comment ranking matters. You have to at least heart every comment, but writing back is even better because it shows your followers that you engage, and [that] will encourage them to engage.”

On political stances from a brand:
“I think we are in a time when social causes are very important. Designers are people, too, and they are passionate. If you go political, though, you are going to lose customers. It’s the nature of the beast.”

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